Published June 2017
Have you been invited to a clay pigeon shoot but have no idea what to wear? Don’t worry; we’re here to help! So if you’re planning a clay shooting event or trying your hand at shooting clays for the first time, read on.
Dress for the weather: No matter what the venue, pretty much all clay pigeon shooting events involve going outside. Some venues will have sheltered or covered areas, but essentially you’ll be outdoors a lot of the time. We would therefore recommend dressing for the Great British weather (waterproofs, coats, jackets and sometimes even sun cream). If you’re unsure what the weather is likely to do then wear layers, there is nothing worse than being too hot or too cold on a shoot.
You’ll need to be able to move: Avoid tightly fitting clothing. To be successful at shooting clay targets, you’ll need to be able to move to see your target and aim the gun. Try to find a jacket or coat that is comfortable to wear and allows you to stretch your arms out fully to the sides. Also try twisting from side to side, to make sure you’re not restricted in any way. Whilst it’s important to be able to move, you should also avoid overly baggy clothing as the gun can slip out of position when shooting if your jacket is too big.
Get the Shoes Right: Again, it’s important to dress for the outdoors. Our Activity HQ in Chester is a working farm so please choose sensible footwear. In summer when the ground is dry you can get away with most flat shoes, however, for the rest of the year we would recommend boots or wellies. Failing this, we would suggest wearing old shoes you don’t mind getting muddy. Flip flops, sandals, high-healed shoes, white trainers and ballet pumps are pretty much always unsuitable for clay shooting. If you’re clay shooting at a manor house or hotel, then you may want to bring a spare pair of shoes so you have something clean to wear for the rest of your day.
Scarves, Hats & Gloves: If you’re shooting in winter, then chances are you’ll want to wrap up warm. If you’re planning to wear a scarf go for a thinner / lightweight one rather than a chunky knitted version. This is because thick scarves can get in the way of your gun mount, meaning it’s difficult to position the gun correctly into the shoulder. Gloves are fine when shooting as long as you can grip the shotgun and have full use of your fingers (no mittens please). Again hats are fine for shooting as long as your vision is not impaired and your hat isn’t too loose (so it might fall off). Flat caps, baseball caps and wooly hats are all commonly worn when clay shooting.
Can I wear Fancy Dress? A lot of clay shooting venues don’t have the same sense of humour we do, so require all participants to comply with their dress code. With this in mind it’s important to check beforehand if your chosen venue has a policy on clothing. For example, watch out for requirements to wear a shirt or polo-shirt with a collar. However, providing it’s safe to shoot in, we’re happy for groups at our Activity HQ in Chester to dress up if they wish. We’ve had stag & hen parties in full tweed, but our personal highlights from the last year include a bride dressed as a giant wood pigeon, a stag in a superhero outfit and another stag dressed a fox with his friends dressed in red coats and white trousers for the hunt. So feel free to get creative if you’ve booked a shoot with us.
Clay Shooting Gear: When shooting you’ll need eye and ear protection. If you’re new to shooting there is little point buying expensive ear defenders or glasses as your clay shooting venue should supply these for you. If you normally wear glasses you can shoot wearing those. When clay shooting skeet jackets or shooting vests can be useful as they come with padded shoulders that give added protection from the recoil of the gun and help avoid the gun slipping whilst shooting. We have a couple of vests available for you to borrow at our venue, so you don’t need to bring these unless you have your own.
No two shooting grounds are the same, so if in doubt please contact your venue to find out more about their site and dress code. At Aim for the Sky we provide clay shooting at our Activity HQ in Chester and at venues and hotels across the UK. If you’re coming to see us, our advice would be to check the weather, wear something comfortable & choose sensible shoes. We'll take care of the rest.